[CNET] Notebook Makers Prepare 1GHz Blitz

From: Adam Rifkin (Adam@KnowNow.Com)
Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 21:33:33 PST

Does anyone actually *need* a gigahertz on the road?


Notebook makers prepare 1GHz blitz
By John G. Spooner and Joe Wilcox
Special to CNET News.com
March 16, 2001, 10:45 a.m. PT
Several major notebook makers will break the gigahertz barrier next week.

Intel plans on Monday to release its 1GHz mobile Pentium III chip for
notebooks, along with a 900MHz mobile Pentium III and a 750MHz mobile
Celeron chip, sources familiar with the chipmaker's plans said.

A number of top PC makers will release notebooks on Monday to coincide with
the chipmaker's announcement. But Hewlett-Packard apparently doesn't want to
wait and intends to launch a full-on mobile 1GHz blitz Sunday. The PC maker
will run ads in Sunday circulars and offer the notebooks at CompUSA and
Fry's Electronics stores, sources said.

HP will use the new chip to launch its newest consumer model, the Pavilion
N6395, sources said. The notebook will come with the 1GHz mobile Pentium
III, a 15-inch display, 256MB of RAM, 30GB hard drive and 8x DVD drive for
$3,199. The new Pavilion weighs in at 5.8 pounds and is about 1-inch thick.

The new 1GHz mobile chip hits the market just about a year after Intel and
Advanced Micro Devices first introduced their 1GHz desktop chips. Notebooks
from major manufacturers featuring AMD's Athlon chip are expected toward

The 1GHz notebook chip comes at a time when notebooks are becoming
increasingly important to PC makers and Intel alike as the portables sales
are generally growing more quickly than desktop PCs.

The need for speed

Analysts say the speed boost for notebooks is needed in more ways than one.

"Once consumers see the 1GHz, hopefully it'll be a stimulus for unit
growth," IDC analyst Alan Promisel said. It's important for notebooks not to
lag too far behind desktop PCs in terms of performance, he added.

"We still expect (notebooks) to offer higher growth rates in the future
(than desktops)--and ultra-portables even more so," Promisel said.

As a result, the 1GHz Pentium III will receive a groundswell of support from
PC makers.

In addition to HP, a number of PC makers plan to support Intel's
announcement with new notebook models, priced from $2,500 to $4,500.

Most new 1GHz Pentium III notebooks will be full-size models. These machines
generally offer large 15-inch screens, lots of RAM and hard drive capacity,
and space for extras, such as DVD or CD-rewritable drives. Models will be
coming for both the consumer and corporate markets.

PC makers glom on

Toshiba will announce on Monday a new Satellite Pro 4600 for consumers,
sources said. It will sport the 1GHz chip, a 15-inch screen and 128MB of RAM
for a price north of $3,000. In addition, the company's Tecra 8200 series
for the corporate market will offer the 1GHz chip in a 5.5 pound notebook
with a 14-inch screen, 256MB of RAM, 20GB hard drive and a combination
DVD/CD-RW drive for about $4500, sources said.

HP also will beef up its corporate OmniBook 6000 notebook. It will sell for
$4,199 with the 1GHz chip, 15-inch display and 256MB of RAM, sources said.

Compaq Computer is expected to offer on Monday three new notebook
models--the Armada E500 and M700 and Presario 1800--with the 1GHz processor,
sources said.

The Armada E500 will feature a 15-inch display, 128 MB of memory, 30GB hard
drive, CD-RW drive and network card for $3,699. The M700 packs a smaller
14-inch display, 128 MB of RAM, 20GB hard drive, DVD drive and network card
for $3,599, sources said.

IBM also plans to launch two new models, the ThinkPad A22 and A22p, which
are expected to go on sale in mid-April, sources said. Prices range from
$1,999 to $3,099 for the ThinkPad A22m, and $3,899 to $4,169 for the A22p.

The $3,899 ThinkPad A22p will pack a 1GHz mobile Pentium III, 15-inch
display, 32GB hard drive and CD-RW drive.

Dell Computer also plans to join Monday's blitz, offering a Latitude C800
with the 1GHz chip and a high-resolution 15-inch screen, as well as a 1GHz
Inspiron 8000 series notebook with a 14.1-inch screen, sources said. Both
will sell for under $2,500.

Voltage reduction

The new 1GHz chip will use Intel's SpeedStep technology, which reduces clock
speed and voltage when a notebook switches to battery power in order to
maintain battery life. On batteries, the chip will drop automatically to
700MHz. However, notebook owners can override the function and run the chip
at 1GHz on battery power.

Sources close to several manufacturers said they expect little, if no demand
for 900MHz models that will also come out Monday. But some see value in the
processor. HP and Dell and Toshiba will offer the chip.

Micron Electronics will likely be the sole PC maker to initially offer only
the 900MHz mobile Pentium III. It will add the chip to its TransPort GX+
line, starting Monday, sources said. The TransPort GX+ notebook with the
900MHz chip, 15-inch display, 30GB hard drive, 8x DVD drive and network card
will sell for about $3,440, sources said.

A 1GHz model is expected sometime soon from Micron. However, most other
notebook configurations will emphasize the 1GHz chip, due to consumer

Sony also plans on Monday to introduce a notebook with a new Intel
processor, sources said, although they wouldn't specify which chip.
Code-named Viper, the model is the next-generation mini-notebook, a category
that Sony pioneered with its Vaio PCG-505. Viper will be introduced in the
United States before it hits Japanese shores, a practice uncommon for Sony
given the greater popularity of mini-notebooks in Japan than in the United


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"MTV and VH1 feel that the Madonna video is newsworthy and can be seen with proper context," a network representative speaking on condition of anonymity told the AP today. Madonna rep Liz Rosenberg says the video actually carries an anti-violence message. "There is a lot of violence in the video," Rosenberg conceded to the New York Daily News. "It tells the story of a woman who has probably been abused. It's very strong. It's not the last video you'd want to see before going to sleep at night." Rosenberg told the AP that if MTV and VH1 don't agree to replay the video, Madonna will seek to have it aired elsewhere, and that America Online has already agreed to make it available on the Internet.

-- http://mrshowbiz.go.com/news/Todays_Stories/316/madonnavideo031601.html

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